Hand-Pulled Cotton Candy

Who needs a machine when you can make your own colorful and delicious cotton candy by hand?!


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Food color/extracts of your choice
  • A lot of cornstarch for coating


  1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and heat on medium-high. The mixture needs to heat slowly for about 20-25 minutes, until it reaches 269°F, so monitor your heat to adjust as needed. Once it reaches temperature, immediately remove the saucepan from the burner and allow to cool to at least 212°F. Transfer to plastic quart containers to cool until it turns into a firm disk.
  2. Place cornstarch on a baking tray or large bowl. Release the candy by pressing around the plastic container. Use your thumbs to create a hole in the center. Coat generously in cornstarch and begin forming a donut shape, rotating the disc and using your hands to stretch it, making sure all sides are even. Once the ring is about 1 foot wide, twist into a figure 8 shape and continue stretching and making a uniform ring. Be sure to constantly dust with cornstarch to prevent sticking. After about 12 loops, you'll end up with over 10,000 strands. Continue the process if the strands are still pliable.
  3. Use your hands to pull and break off small sections, wrap around a stick, and serve.